NBA regular season

Without Luka Doncic, Mavs demolish Blazers


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Without Luka Doncic, Mavs demolish Blazers

TAKE CHARGE. Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving in action against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Kyrie Irving steps up in the absence of fellow star guard Luka Doncic as the Mavericks cruise past the Trail Blazers

Kyrie Irving led six scorers in double figures with 24 points to guide the shorthanded Dallas Mavericks to a 139-103 rout of the visiting Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night, January 5 (Saturday, January 6, Manila time).

Irving flirted with a double-double, also grabbing 9 rebounds to step up in the absence of fellow star guard Luka Doncic, who missed the contest due to right ankle swelling.

Dallas was also without guard Dante Exum (heel), forward Grant Williams (ankle) and center Dereck Lively II (ankle).

Tim Hardaway Jr. and Jaden Hardy each added 19 points for the Mavericks. Josh Green and AJ Lawson had 14 apiece, and Derrick Jones Jr. posted 12.

Hardy nearly had a triple-double, collecting 9 rebounds and 9 assists.

Jerami Grant netted 18 points as Portland failed to avoid a sweep in the four-game season series with Dallas. Scoot Henderson contributed 17 points and 10 assists, while Duop Reath chipped in 16 points and 7 boards.

Dallas virtually put the game away by outscoring the Blazers 40-16 in the third quarter.

The Mavericks scored the first 12 points of the period to open a 74-53 lead with 8:01 to go, and they later used a 14-0 spurt to move ahead 96-60. Jones headlined the first run with a pair of treys and an alley-oop dunk.

Lawson’s layup with 37.7 seconds remaining sent the hosts into the fourth with a 102-69 cushion, and Dallas was never threatened the rest of the way.

Irving scored 12 points in the first quarter as the Mavericks jumped out to a 38-26 lead.

After Irving canned a three-pointer early in the second to put Dallas up by 13, the Trail Blazers put together a 9-0 run to pull within 41-37 with 8:41 left in the frame.

However, Dallas proceeded to rifle off nine unanswered points of its own to make it a 13-point game once again.

It looked like Portland was going to head into the break trailing by seven when Grant connected on a corner three with 2.7 seconds remaining in the first half. But Green then hustled downcourt and sank a jumper at the buzzer, sending the Mavericks into the locker room with a 62-53 advantage.

Dallas shot a blistering 58.3% from the field for the game. The Blazers connected on 41.1% of their shots. –

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